China to 'scale down wind subsidies from 2020'

CHINA: China may wind down its onshore wind energy subsidy programme from 2020 as the cost of land-based wind farms is likely to be close to thermal power generation.

The comments came from China's top economic planner, Wang Zhongying, the deputy director of the Energy Research Institute under National Development and Reform Commission. 

At present, the generation cost of land-based wind farms in China is CNY0.35-0.5/kWh and the price for electricity generated by wind power is set at CNY0.51-0.61/kWh.

However, the cost of coal-powered thermal power generation could rise to a level equivalent to that of wind power generation. In that scenario, Wang said China may gradually phase out subsidies for the wind power industry.

In order to speed up wind power development, China has drawn up its 2011-50 Roadmap for Wind Power Development, targeting wind power installed capacity of 200GW, 400GW, and 1,000GW to feed 5%, 8%, and 17% of electricity demand in 2020, 2030, and 2050, respectively.

Total investment in China's wind power development during 2011 to 2050 will reach CNY12 trillion, according to the Roadmap.

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